– My next guest is an inspiration to countless people around the world. She’s a runner who has
completed 10 marathons and 14 ultra marathons. The longest was 61 miles
and took over 25 hours. – Oh my.
– [Female guest] What? (audience laughs) – She’s a sponsored
athlete, bestselling author and last year National
Geographic named her an Adventurer of the Year. She is what I consider a
whole lotta woman, y’all. (upbeat theme music) (audience cheers, applauds) – All right, let’s bring her out! Please welcome Mirna Velerio! (applause) How you doing girl? Come on over! – Oh my god! – Hello!
– Very nice to meet you. – Nice to meet you too. – It is so lovely to meet you! You look beautiful. I love that color! – Thank you.
– Yes, you match my set! I love it! It’s so awesome, it’s so colorful. – I planned it. (laughs)
– I love it. Okay, so you’re an inspiration to so many but people always don’t expect that you’re the typical runner. – No, well, look at me! (giggles) – You look great!
– I am not what people think of as a runner. I’m not thin, I’m not chiseled, except for my legs. So I’m definitely not what
someone would think of when they think of runners. – The stereotypical.
– Yeah. – All right. I like that. But how did this start? How did you become a runner? – You know I grew up in
Brooklyn, New York. Brooklyn! (audience cheers and applauds) What’s up! (laughs) And I played sports in high school, trained to be a classical
singer, actually. – Whoa!
– Yes, I don’t really do it anymore but I did.
– Okay. – But I really, really love sports and I loved them so much
that I started running in high school to get better at my sports. Fast forward a lot of years, I had a baby. Rashid.
– That ruins everything body wise.
– (laughing) Yes. I’m still recovering after 16 years. (hysterical laughter) And I had a health scare in 2008. I was not living the healthiest lifestyle. I didn’t sleep, I was sick all the time, my son was sick all the time. Thought I was having a heart attack at one point.
– Whoa! – Visited with the cardiologist who said, “Listen, you gotta change your life “and your lifestyle unless you don’t want “to live to see your son grow up.” – Wow!
– And I was like, he didn’t have to say it like that though. – Yeah. (laughter) Like that’s some good bedside manner. – But I got it. Like, I internalized that message and got back on my treadmill after not having done any exercise
for a long time. That was it! One mile turned into 5K,
which is 3 miles, 3.1 miles which turned into 10K’s, half marathons. My friend says, “Hey! Why don’t you come “and do this marathon with me?” And I was like, that’s
silly, I’m not doing that. How do I sign up? (laughter) And so that turned into this, like, amazing trajectory of
discovery of my body, of my mind, of my grit. And did my first marathon in 2011. – Wow.
– Did many other marathons since then and that also turned into doing ultra marathons. – Do y’all ever run marathons? Have y’all ever done that? – I once dropped out of a 5K. (hysterical laughter and applause) – Congratulations!
– Thank you so much! – Congratulations.
– Thank you. Thank you guys. (laughter, audience applauds and cheers) – (laughing) We’re the same. – We are, we basically are, yeah. – I just need to take a nap. Do you? God bless.
– It is. – That is great for–
– Running can be very– In my 20’s I was so into it, I get it. It’s like escapism for me. Like, I love escaping
and having a playlist. But you might remember
Kyle, my bass player, okay. We introduced him earlier but
he is also an ultra runner. He’s crazy, I mean he runs all it. We will be in any country, anywhere and he is running somewhere. It’s crazy but he’s
actually met Mirna before and posted this about her on social media. “I’ve been following
Mirna since I first heard “about her way back in 2001. “She isn’t just a woman,
or just an ultrarunner, “she isn’t just black, just a mother, “or just a plus-size athlete; “she is living embodiment of the kind “of world I want to be a part of. “One where the things that make us unique “aren’t flaws; they’re super powers.” – Wow!
– It’s like. (audience cheers, applauds) – I was like–
– Wow! – Nope. – Like Kyle! – Wow.
– Geez. – I mean, I know that you’re, like, the sweetest guy ever but I will cry now and I was crying in my
dressing (laughs) reading this. I mean, tell her though. Like, why is Mirna’s voice
so important for this sport? Why were you that passionate about it? – So, for me it’s just that she is doing what she loves, right? So that’s the first thing. And then by virtue of
doing what she loves, she’s inspiring all these people just by being her truest self. So that’s doubly cool. And then, third of all, she’s found a way to
make a living doing it. So I think that’s super empowering and just a beautiful story all around. – [Kelly] That is so cool! – Wow, thank you! – He’s like you, man. He runs all the time. So what do you often hear from women who say they’re inspired by you? – It’s really cool to
be able to do what I do and to hear people’s stories. A lot of women come up to me and say, “I wish I could do what you do. “How do I start?” And you know there’s no magic in it. You start where you start. Okay, it’s gonna be a journey, whatever it is, whatever shape you’re in, how fit you are.
– Everyone starts in a different place.
– Everyone starts in a different place. You
can’t compare yourself to your former self, you can’t compare
yourself to anybody else. – Yeah.
– You just– You’re there, you have to be in the moment and then you move from
that moment forward. – Yeah and be thankful! Be thankful that you’ve been given a body that gives you the ability to do it. – Absolutely.
– That’s the biggest thing. Backstage we have a woman just like that. She says she wants to run a marathon just like Mirna but has doubts because of her size. She says she’s inspired by Mirna but she has no idea that
Mirna is here right now. We’re gonna have Mirna go
backstage before we bring her out. So will you go backstage
just for a minute? (laughter) Go that way.There you go! My next guest says she wants
to train for a marathon but worries due to her size that she’s not up for the challenge. Please welcome Monica, everybody. (audience cheers, applauds) Here’s my first thought. You’re small! What? Like what (laughs), like what? But tell us about yourself. – Okay, so, I’m 28, I’m
living in Santa Monica and I’ve always been
overweight growing up. And living in an Asian household, there’s always this pressure to be thinner and I’ve never been thin
my entire life, like– – Me neither. (laughter) – So, I mean, I’ve just accepted
at this point that, like, this is my body and that’s it. But as I’ve become an adult I
started running for exercise and the most I’ve ran is like a 5K, so that’s like 3 miles. And doing 3 miles is okay but I feel like I could do a marathon. – Yeah!
– Yeah. – Oh my gosh, so what holds
you back from just doing it? – I think it’s just my body. I’m 5’2. My legs are so short. – I’m 5’3 and I have no legs. Yup. (laughter) I’m all torso, ma’am. – So for me to, like, do 3 miles versus, like, 26 miles, I think, is just like, I feel like I can’t do it. – What would it mean for you, though, to complete one of those marathons? Like the bigger ones? – (exhales) I think it would mean so much. I think it would truly challenge, like, my mental and my physical. – Yeah.
– I feel like a part of me can do the marathon, especially since I’ve
watched this documentary of this woman named Mirna
and she runs ultra marathons. So I just feel like if she can do it, I think I can do it too. – I love that!
– Yeah. – So you have somebody that
kind of inspires you in that. – Yeah.
– That’s amazing. Well, I have a surprise for you, Monica. There is someone backstage
who does wanna meet you. Mirna, will you come on out? (laughs) (audience cheers, applauds) – Hi!
– Come on over here! – Hi! – Hi!
– Hi! – What?
– Wow! – Come over, y’all, sit down! (laughter) We’ll scoot, we’ll scoot. Thank you guys! I have been so excited. I was like, oh yay,
she brought her up too. We knew that you are
inspired by her and I– Who is it? I just met her
and I’m in love with her. I don’t even like running anymore and I’d probably run one
just to hang with you. But what do you wanna
say to Monica, Mirna? – I heard everything you said back there and you said you run 5K’s. 10K’s? – I’ve never done a 10K. – Okay, well if you can run a 5K you can run 10K and if you can run a 10K, half marathon and then marathon. So you start where you start. – Right.
– Right? You have the legs, you are gorgeous, you are strong and you are capable of
doing a full marathon with the proper training and I’d love to see
you run the LA marathon on March 8th with me and Kyle. – That’s in the spring,
that gives you time! (audiences cheers, applauds) – Okay!
– That gives you time! Kyle will do it!